robot hand and human hand reaching for mobile ad creatives
Mobile Games , User Acquisition

AI Ad Creatives: Why AI Alone Isn’t the Answer

The pressure for productivity and scalability in mobile marketing has never been so high; most mobile gaming studios are adopting AI tools in one form or another. 

According to IAB Europe, seven in ten advertising professionals agreed that they embed generative AI to develop creatives in their daily work lives. 

And it’s not just about producing AI ad creatives but also creative management. Tech giants such as Google and Meta have incorporated AI-powered technologies into their creative management tools to help deliver ad creatives at lightning-speed pace. 

But will this commitment to AI-powered tools be enough to stay competitive in the mobile advertising space?

What’s AI Good for in Creative Production and Management?

Ad Creatives That Convert Better

How do messaging, logo size, fonts, colors, imagery, CTA button sizes, or formats impact an ad campaign’s performance? 

Gone are the days when user acquisition managers have to sift through historical data. Artificial intelligence will remove human bias and tell them which ad creative stands the best statistical chance of success.

Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data, including user preferences, demographics, and browsing behavior. The end result is an automated process that enables app advertisers to craft highly relevant ad creatives that convert – removing the need for tiresome A/B testing.

adjoe’s Playtime ad solution, for example, leverages machine learning algorithms that collect device and user data to serve ad creatives to the users most likely to download a mobile game. Precise targeting technologies like these increase conversions and improve overall campaign performance. 

diagram showing how artificial intelligence works in creative management

Iterative AI-driven optimizations with solutions like these mean that, instead of gathering test data, such as CTR, conversions, and CPI over several weeks (and then analyzing it), UA teams can invest their time and money on other impactful tasks. 

These include brainstorming unique elements in the creative production process and keeping on top of privacy developments or changes in app users’ behavior. 

Combatting Ad Fatigue Through Effective Delivery

Ad creatives that convert better are important, but identifying how, when and where to serve the correct creatives to the correct audience is just as crucial. 

AI tools can help address ad fatigue by serving users fresh and engaging content. Users are more likely to experience diverse ad formats as well as variations on creatives and messaging. 

Advertisers with access to AI tools can time these ads to perfection, too. AI-driven tools can predict when certain mobile users will interact better with ads – as well as with which kinds of ads – and adjust the frequency of these ads accordingly. This reduces the number of irritated users who might churn and ensures advertisers maintain a positive and trustworthy brand image.

Google VP of Ads Jerry Dischler talks about this trust in his blog post about Google’s new AI features: “Building user trust is vital to the long-term durability of the ad-supported internet.”

bar chart showing advertisers prioritizing brand safety with creative management

Effective AI-powered creative management can also ensure that brands’ ad creatives appear in safe and suitable ad spaces. It does this by identifying mismatches between ad creatives and a publisher’s in-app content before the ad is served, thereby protecting brand integrity and maximizing ad performance.

Optimizing Workflow

Last but not least: UA managers don’t need to give their creative agency away to generative AI tools. 

Since AI excels at handling repetitive and mundane tasks, it can help teams streamline their creative production workflow. This allows them to dedicate more time to higher-value projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and strategic planning. 

For example, AI could swiftly generate multiple variations of a design asset, freeing UA professionals from repetitive work and enabling them to focus on refining the most promising concepts.

According to a McKinsey report, companies that effectively integrate AI into their workflows see a 60- to 70-percent increase in productivity

Of course, to save time with AI tools, teams first need to invest some time in mastering how to communicate and prompt clearly with AI. Only when they achieve this can they really optimize their workflow instead of disrupting it.

What’s AI Not So Good for?

Emotion-Oriented Creative Content

Research has found that consumers responded similarly to human-created and AI-created cognitive-focused ads. However, they rated emotion-oriented ads that were generated by AI lower

With AI often falling short when used in the context of emotional and hedonic products (such as mobile games), some element of human involvement is still crucial for crafting emotion-oriented ads.

graph showing report results from Tinuti

Let’s not also forget the significant concern present among consumers about the trustworthiness of AI-generated marketing content. A recent report from Tinuiti shows that 25 percent of consumers are less likely to purchase products if they notice the advertisement was created with generative AI. 

This is how less human intervention in the creative production process could hurt mobile advertisers’ conversions. The risk is that consumers (in this case mobile users) experience emotional uneasiness and discomfort associated with the uncanny valley phenomenon.

Outside of programmatic advertising, it might furthermore be less relevant to focus purely on ad creatives that convert better or on AI-powered creative management. That’s because many interactive ad solutions are already inherently designed to maximize conversion rates and CPIs. 

It’s true that some mobile games require a lot of ad creatives, but this depends on the UA channel a team is using. If a solution is built to prioritize conversions and a personalized ad experience, UA teams are less inclined to focus on AI-powered creative production or management and instead focus on innovating their own product further.

True Creativity

Generative AI relies heavily on a large dataset of pre-existing works and reuses elements of human-created content to generate new output. That’s why several professionals believe that you need real artists to come up with new and inventive concepts. 

AI can, of course, support content creation and mimic artistic styles. However, it lacks the human touch, emotional depth, and ability to innovate beyond set parameters. Human artists contribute unique perspectives, creativity, and critical thinking to their work, aspects that AI cannot easily and immediately replicate.

Advertisers should constantly strive to build and maintain their brand’s unique visual style while leveraging AI in creative production. AI ad creatives can bring speed and efficiency into the picture but will lack the distinctiveness and originality that make brands stand out in a crowded market in the first place. Especially the mobile gaming market.

diagram explaining that quick and unpredictable developments in user acquisition and AI mean that humans still need to intervene

Integrating AI Systems 

Integrating the top AI systems into creative management workflows still requires input from a human expert, who is able to navigate rapid – and often unpredictable – developments when it comes to:

  • app user behavior
  • privacy
  • the ethical implications of AI
  • the technical side of AI
  • UA strategy trends

Not only do creative management teams need to consider these developments as individual entities – they must understand how all of these components will interact and impact each other. There is a bigger picture.

AI Alone Won’t Give You the Edge over Competitors

What AI will do is boost the efficiency of advertisers’ ad creative output and remove the manual work needed to analyze and serve ad placements – at the right place, at the right time, to the right users.

What AI in mobile advertising alone can’t do is guarantee that advertisers will start outperforming their competitors. Artificial intelligence is only as good as what it already knows and as good as the creative management and UA teams using it. 

Even if it has the power in creative management to predict performance based on data and remove guesswork, there are some predictions AI systems can’t make, such as user behavior trends and the latest privacy updates. AI will also not be able to produce original ideas at scale or tap into emotional intelligence as creative management or UA teams can.

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